The South Plains College men’s and women’s cross country teams continue to show their talent, winning their fifth consecutive meet.
The nationally-ranked Texans and Lady Texans finished the regular season on Oct. 7, with impressive performances at home in the South Plains College Open at Brasher Lake in Levelland.
“Both the men and women’s team competed well at home for us,” said Frank Barker, head cross country coach and assistant track coach at SPC. “We came out of the meet with a few of our runners banged up, but everyone should be healthy when our regional meet comes up.”
The Texans, ranked No. 3 in the national polls, placed first as a team, with four runners finishing in the top 10 and posting an average time of 26:26.26. The men’s team has won five consecutive meets heading into post-season competition.
Sophomore All-American Felix Kosgei set a course record with a time of 25:24.80 in the men’s 8k race, placing first.
Freshman Andrew Bosquez placed second for SPC with a time of 25:52.90, while Filmon Beyene placed fourth with a time of 26:13.50. Freshman Jesse Madrid placed ninth with a time of 27:09.10.
Freshman Benjamin Rono finished 16th for SPC, posting a time of 27:31.00. Sophomore Michel Leobardo posted a time of 28:17.90, finishing 31st, while Erick Arambula finished 36th with a time of 28:42.60. Freshman Ulises Cardoza finished 48th with a time of 29:25.30, and sophomore Dekaryea Freeman finished 66th overall with a time of 31:18.55.
“With a core mainly consisting of freshmen, I think we have gained a lot of maturity since the beginning of the season, along with the help of our sophomores like Kosgei and Leobardo,” said Coach Barker.
Ranked No. 12 in the national polls, the Lady Texans placed second as a team in the women’s 3k race with an average time of 20:05.82.
“On the women’s side, our top four girls are doing very well, and having that sophomore experience is helping them compete,” explained Coach Barker.
Leading the Lady Texans was sophomore Leslie Romero, who placed third overall and second among college runners with a time of 18:35.70. Placing sixth for SPC was sophomore Seselia Dala with a time of 19:15.10, while sophomore Poro Gahekave placed ninth with a time of 19:47.30.
Caitlyn Mercer, a sophomore and Lubbock native, finished 23rd with a time of 20:39.00. Sophomore Agnes Abrocquah posted a time of 22:12.00, finishing 46th overall, while freshman Janeil Moore finished 67th with a time of 25:01.20.
“I tell our runners that going into meets they have to have the attitude that other teams have to beat us in order to set ourselves up for success, and I feel they are accomplishing that,” explained Coach Barker.
Both the men’s and women’s teams swept first place overall at the New Mexico Junior College Invitational at Harry McAdams Park on Sept. 29 in Hobbs, N.M.
Six Texans placed in the top 10, with Kosgei placing first with a time of 24:20.27. Bosquez placed second with a time of 24:41.09. Beyene placed fourth, posting a time of 25:01.09. Arambula placed fifth with a time of 25:13.50, and Ronoh placed seventh with a time of 25:49.55. Madrid posted a time of 26:04.16, finishing ninth for the Texans.
Also competing for the SPC men was Leobardo, who finished 20th with a time of 27:18.41, while Cardoza finished 28th after posting a time of 27:50.60. Freeman posted a time of 29:36.16, finishing 46th overall.
The Lady Texans finished the meet with three in the top 10 to place first overall. Romero placed second with a time of 18:29.75, and Dala posted a time of 19:16.30 to place third. Gahekave placed fifth with a time of 19:36.29.
Mercer finished 11th with a time of 20:27.73, and Abrocquah finish 32nd with a time of 22:32.75. Moore posted a time of 25:22.20, finishing 46th.